En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - June 04, 2010

From: Angola, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Fast-growing screen for New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need a fast growing screen to put along my fence due to undesirable neighbors who moved next door to my summer place. Small lot: 25'x25' . The side is south and the lot is partially shade w sandy soil. I wanted bamboo but cannot find it. Thank you. P.S. I love your site

ANSWER:

First of all, thank you for your kind words.  Second of all, since there are no North American native bamboos, we would not recommend that you plant bamboos.  Furthermore, most bamboo species are very aggressive and invasive.  The article on ehow.com, How to Get Rid of Bamboo, gives you a pretty good idea why you don't want to use bamboo.

My first thought was that you would want an evergreen shrub or tree for your screen.  There aren't but a few native to your area (in or adjacent to Erie County) that show rapid growth.  In fact,  Pinus strobus (eastern white pine), is the only evergreen one I found identified as having rapid growth.  Of course, its maximum height is more than 100 feet so that might not be something you want. Two other evergreens of a more moderate size and moderate growth rate are Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) and Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel).

Since this is your summer place, you might be happy to have a rapidly growing deciduous species to act as a screen and intersperse it with evergreens.  Here are some possibilities for deciduous small trees/shrubs:

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood) and here's more information.

Corylus americana (American hazelnut) is fast growing and here is more information.

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) and here is more information.

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) is fast growing and here is more information.

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac) is fast growing and here is more information.

Salix bebbiana (Bebb willow) is fast growing and here is more information.

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (common elderberry) is fast growing and here is more information.

Staphylea trifolia (American bladdernut) is fast growing and here is more information.


Pinus strobus

Juniperus virginiana

Kalmia latifolia

Cornus alternifolia

Corylus americana

Lindera benzoin

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhus copallinum

Salix bebbiana

Staphylea trifolia

 


 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for screen in Bellville, Texas
October 03, 2009 - Would you please recommend a dense evergreen for a living screen in Bellville, TX (Austin County) that will receive full sun? Fast growing and a minimum height of 8' are preferred.
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge that can be trimmed
June 06, 2011 - Please help us find a screening plant or tree (preferably native and evergreen with flowering and/or berries) which is non-invasive, not a vine, at least six feet tall if not taller, which can be easi...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for constant rain
June 24, 2008 - We live in Washington State up north by Canadian border. We need a hedge that will survive the constant rain. We have tried cedar. They seem to turn brown and die,one at a time so we keep replacing th...
view the full question and answer

Sources for Ilex shrubs from Boca Raton FL
April 29, 2013 - Where can I find Ilex plants in the Boca Raton, FL area? I would like to use them for hedges.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center